Atrial Fibrillation in an African-American Cohort: the Jackson Heart Study

Thomas Austin | 2017

Advisor: Susan R. Heckbert

Research Area(s): Cardiovascular & Metabolic Disease


While many risk factors for atrial fibrillation (AF) are more prevalent among African Americans (AAs) than whites, AF incidence appears to be lower. Data from the Jackson Heart Study (JHS), a community-based cohort study of cardiovascular disease among 5,306 AAs were used to investigate incident AF. Using participant characteristic data ascertained at baseline and incident AF identified through hospital surveillance, study electrocardiogram, and Medicare claims, we determined age- and sex-specific AF incidence rates, studied associations of demographic and cardiovascular risk factors with AF, and compared age- and sex-specific AF incidence rates in JHS to those of AA participants in the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) and Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Cox proportional hazards models were used to determine the association of risk factors with incident AF. Age- and sex-specific AF incidence rates in JHS were broadly similar to those among AAs in CHS and MESA. In a multivariable model, hypertension, higher BMI in the obese range, and history of myocardial infarction were associated with incident AF. The associations of risk factors with AF observed in JHS reinforce the importance of efforts to control blood pressure and body weight for the prevention of AF.